Students applying to the Bachelor of Music (BM) are required to complete a performance audition or, in the case of composers, submit a composition portfolio. The audition and/or portfolio are evaluated by the faculty in the area of study to which the student is applying, and this review weighs heavily into the consideration of admission. Students will also be asked to demonstrate through the application process strong academic aptitude, provide recommendations, and complete a brief music theory knowledge assessment. For more information on application requirements, please see the Undergraduate Applicants webpage. Applicants may apply in more than one area of study.
Applicants should be prepared to demonstrate a command of technical aptitude and musicianship within their intended area of study. In addition, completing an academic program of study combining breadth and depth shows preparation for the rigor of an Oberlin education, and students are encouraged to include enriched or Advanced Placement and various music courses when available.
The best-prepared candidates usually present the following:
- Several years of private lessons in their intended area of study
- Participation in activities related to their area of study beyond those available in the high school curriculum
- Strong academic performance
Conservatory of Music applicants audition in their principal performing medium (instrument or voice) unless applying for admission as a composition or technology in music and related arts (TIMARA) major. Composition and TIMARA applicants will interview with faculty in their applied area of study.
Candidates are encouraged to audition and/or interview in person at Oberlin, but other options may be available to complete this requirement, such as video-recorded submissions. Please review the Auditions and Interviews webpage for more information on the current year’s options. All applicants are required to submit screening materials for review prior to being invited for an audition and/or interview.
Admission of Transfer Students
Transfer applicants to the Conservatory of Music are reviewed in the same timeline as first-year applicants and are beholden to the same audition, portfolio submission, and application requirements. In addition, they are required to submit an official transcript of college work completed, a list of courses being carried during the current term/semester, and evidence of good academic standing. Final decisions concerning the amount of credit to be assigned are deferred until the completion of work at the previous college. While the Conservatory of Music does not ordinarily consider transfer applicants for spring semester enrollment, in exceptional circumstances approval to apply may be granted. All conservatory students, including transfers, are required to have no fewer than four semesters of residence and complete at Oberlin no fewer than 84 credits (107 credits for double-degree students).